Friday, November 13, 2015

SincPac: Wall Profiles

One thing I hated doing was creating wall profiles for retaining walls. Since Civil 3D requires profile PVIs to have different station values, it becomes tedious to ensure each PVI has a small gap between them. Then there is the other constraint of wanting even steps. If it is a block wall being 8” or for concrete retaining walls 1’ or 2’. Back in the day, around 2008, I wrote a command that did this in VBA, but I promptly lost the code when switching jobs. Recently I was given the task of once again creating wall profiles and found the process not improved by Autodesk. So I decided to write the command once more. Here is a video of the command in action:

The command will be available in a future version of the SincPac.

Want more information and going to Autodesk University? Then stop by the Quux Software at Booth 11. Enter the Exhibit Hall, make a right, grab then food and/or beverage, and then talk to Jeff. Tell him Christopher sent you.


SincPac Sewer Lateral Command

What is BIM? I think it should be something that enables you to do your job better. If it’s something that just sits there until you tell it specifically what to do then it’s crappy BIM. Civil 3D pipes fit exactly in the sweet spot of crappy BIM. I’m all about wanting BIM, wanting software that helps you along towards your goal instead of making you do all of the work. That’s why exactly why I wrote a command that links a lateral to a main line pipe as shown in this video.

Well I didn’t really write the command to fix crappy BIM, since this was before Autodesk told me to expect BIM from Civil 3D. I wrote it because I saw the need for an automated process when doing 200+ lot subdivisions. I also had little programming experience when writing this command. I essentially learned how to program while writing this command. I took the Civil 3D samples found in VBA and modified them. I saw in other programs that you could have it automatically update to changes and so learned how to do that and incorporated it into the command. So I essentially beat Autodesk to writing this desired feature by numerous land development designers.

Want this feature today? Then check out the SincPac. If you wait for Autodesk to provide this basic functionality you might be waiting for an extremely long time.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Free Certification Training or Free Advertising?

Heading to Autodesk University this year? Well then while you are there you might want to take a Certification Test to show that you have the basic skills necessary to use the software.

Worried about not knowing what you need to know to pass? Then check out the offering from Ascent and CADLearning who are partnering to provide free prep materials. I haven’t checked them out, but you might want to.

More from their press release:

ASCENT- Center for Technical Knowledge Partners with CADLearning to Provide Free Autodesk Certification Preparation Materials

Thirty Days of Free Online Access to ASCENT’s Official Certification Preparation eBooks and CADLearning’s Video Content is the Stress-Free way to Prepare for Autodesk Certification

OWINGS MILLS, MD — November 3, 2015 — Rand Worldwide (OTCBB: RWWI), a global leader in providing technology solutions to organizations with engineering design and information technology requirements, today announced that its courseware division,ASCENT- Center for Technical Knowledge, is partnering with 4D Technologies to provide free access to their Autodesk Certification Preparation content online for a limited time. The new online certification preparation portal includes Official Certification Preparation content by ASCENT and rich CADLearning video courses by 4D. These materials, available for free from November 3 to December 3, will ensure an unrivalled learning experience for those taking certification exams at Autodesk University 2015 in Las Vegas.

“Both ASCENT and 4D have provided free access to their content onsite at Autodesk University for a number of years, but cramming at the last minute while attending an eventful conference is not ideal,” says Paul Burden, director of product development, ASCENT. “We want to give certification candidates the best possible chance of success, so we’re now offering learners the option to study where and when they want for a full month, right up until the end of Autodesk University. Free access to ASCENT’s Official Certification Preparation eBooks and industry-leading CADLearning video courses will help end-users of all learning styles understand the key topics and objectives required to achieve certification.”

ASCENT’s Official Certification Preparation books are specifically designed to help users prepare for Autodesk Certification exams. They contain relevant instructional topics, practices, and review questions that directly address the Certified Professional exam topics and objectives.

To gain access to the ultimate combination of certification preparation materials, register for free at

“We’re combining the best learning materials in one place, online,” says Matt Murphy, director of content management and development, 4D Technologies. “Video lessons, detailed descriptions, and hands-on practices target specific information that end-users need to know for the certification exams. No matter their learning style, this approach ensures they can absorb, and retain the information in the way they learn best.”

ASCENT’s free offering includes six Official Certification Preparation eBooks:

  • AutoCAD 2016: Review for Certification
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016: Review for Certification
  • Autodesk Inventor 2016: Review for Certification
  • Autodesk Revit 2016 Architecture: Review for Certification
  • Autodesk Revit 2016 MEP: Review for Certification
  • Autodesk Revit 2016 Structure: Review for Certification

Those who prefer to review printed materials as they prepare for certification exams can purchase ASCENT’s Official Certification Preparation Books from

CADLearning’s free offering includes 14 exam preparation courses for the following exams and includes over 1,000 videos:

  • AutoCAD Certified Professional
  • AutoCAD Certified User
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D Certified Professional
  • Autodesk 3ds Max Certified Professional
  • Autodesk 3ds Max Certified User
  • Autodesk Inventor Certified Professional
  • Autodesk Inventor Certified User
  • Autodesk Maya Certified Professional
  • Autodesk Maya Certified User
  • Autodesk Revit Architecture Certified Professional
  • Autodesk Revit Architecture Certified User
  • Autodesk Revit for Electrical Certified Professional
  • Autodesk Revit for Mechanical and Plumbing Certified Professional
  • Autodesk Revit Structure Certified Professional


ASCENT- Center for Technical Knowledge develops professional training courseware and technical documentation for engineering applications including those from Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes and PTC. ASCENT is an Authorized Author, Publisher and Developer of Autodesk curriculum and the sole provider of Autodesk Official Training Guides. ASCENT training guides, eBooks and Instructor Tools are available to educational institutions and training centers, individuals and corporations and can be purchased directly from the ASCENT eStore (for volume sales, contact an ASCENT representative). For more information visit the ASCENT website and follow ASCENT on Twitter at @ASCENT_CTK.

About CADLearning
CADLearning’s comprehensive, self-paced professional learning content is designed to maximize performance with Autodesk 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Users leverage CADLearning for self-paced learning, as an ongoing resource, and as a help tool. CADLearning is developed by 4D Technologies, LLC. Visit to learn more.


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